Learned from Children: Some Things Don’t Change

When my children were young, I often said to them the same life truths over and over.  Such as:

Know that you are loved so much—by us and by God.Treat people the way you want to be treated.

Your happiness is not dependent on good things happening—it is your choice, no matter what the circumstances.

Focus on the good.

Thank God in everything—what you like and what you don’t like.

Being kind is better than being right (winning an argument).

My grandchildren are in town this week, and we have been having such fun.

But not everything has gone as planned.

Our trip to Legoland was great, but each time they got to the front of the line of a roller coaster, lightning forced a shut down.  Major disappointment.

And I found myself saying, “Things don’t always go the way you want.  You can pout and be upset, or you can choose to focus on the good that happened and the fun you had.

Today Uncle Josh took the three older boys tubing on Lake Mary Jane.  Aidan had an awesome ride.  Just as it was Ethan’s turn, the boat stopped.  The motor was running, but not the boat.  The propeller had fallen off.  Josh used the trolling motor to return, and Ethan was not happy about his slow ride.  And Carter, who had finally decided he wanted to try it, didn’t get a ride at all.

I said, “I know you’re disappointed, but you can be miserable or you can choose happiness and thank God and Uncle Josh."

Of course, with four little boys around there is a lot of crazy, active play, lots of laughter, and not a few tears and whines and accusations.

Quite a few times I have said, “Treat your brother the way you want to be treated.” Or “It’s better to be kind than to be right.”

All of which reminds me of myself.  I’m a slow learner when it comes to really learning the truths for living and loving.  My children were slow learners.  And it appears my grandchildren are as well.I guess it runs in the family.  Mine—and the broader human family.

But I have found those truths I tried to instill in my daughters and son have proven true for me over and over.  And I have seen my children now living them out pretty consistently.

So I have great hope that my grandboys and grandgirls will “get it” also and grow to live in the power of God’s Spirit, who makes these challenges possible.

What about you?  Which of these truths is hard for you to live?

C2014 Judy Douglass